Star Wars: The Clone Wars came to an emotionally satisfying conclusion when Disney+ dropped the long-hoped-for seventh season last year. Unsurprisingly though, fans wanted more from the world of Clone Wars and, now, they’re going to get it in the form of spinoff series Star Wars: The Bad Batch. The show focuses on the adventures of the enhanced Clone Force 99 as they navigate the galaxy in the aftermath of the Clone Wars. This puts them in a prime position to cross paths with some notable Star Wars characters, and there are a few in particular that really need to appear on the show.
Thanks to trailers, we've learned that established franchise figures will appear on the show, ranging from classic characters like Emperor Palpatine and Grand Moff Tarkin and newer additions like Captain Rex and Fennec Shand. With this in mind, it wouldn’t be surprising if creator Dave Filoni has a few more appearances planned. So let’s take a look at some of the characters that should appear on Star Wars: The Bad Batch:
Fans didn’t know what to make of young Ahsoka Tano when she first debuted in 2008’s Star Wars: The Clone Wars film but, in the years since, she’s found a place not only in their hearts but in several TV shows as well. Ahsoka’s adventures have mostly taken place during the Clone Wars, but she was also instrumental during the reign of the Galactic Empire, as seen in Star War Rebels. And on The Mandalorian (set after the fall of the Empire), she set off on a journey to find missing Jedi Ezra Bridger.
Tano was one of the lone survivors of the The Great Jedi Purge and, as such, she was forced to go into hiding immediately after the rise of the Empire. This period of her life has been relatively unexplored up to this point, and Star Wars: The Bad Batch could shed some light on it. Clone Force 99 will likely cover a lot of ground in their travels across the galaxy, so there’s definitely a possibility they could run into the wayward Jedi. Plus, her appearance would be a great way to tide fans over ahead of her own show’s debut.
Given that the Bad Batch will be a part of the Empire’s forces (at least initially), it wouldn’t be surprising at all if Darth Vader were to creep into the picture at some point. The Dark Lord of the Sith was, of course, the primary antagonist of the Original Trilogy, while the prequels showed his early years as Anakin Skywalker. And in the realm of animation, Vader appeared as a supporting character in Rebels and even made a cameo in the Clone Wars series finale.
Any potential Darth Vader appearance would likely be small, but he could still enter the story in a meaningful way. Based on the latest trailer, Grand Moff Tarkin will be watching Clone Force 99 closely and will even test them through training exercises. Who’s to say Darth Vader couldn’t be present for one of those demonstrations on behalf of the Emperor? Whatever the case, there’s plenty of potential for the iconic antagonist to appear in some capacity.
The Imperial influence on The Bad Batch appears to be strong right now, and there’s another imposing villain who could also appear -- Grand Admiral Thrawn. For years, the fan-favorite character was limited to novels, many of which are no longer canon. However, Dave Filoni revived Thrawn by bringing him into Star Wars Rebels as a main antagonist in the final two seasons.
Despite his devotion to the Empire, Thrawn wasn’t always a high-ranking Imperial officer. He once travelled across the Outer Rim after leaving his homeworld, and this is where The Bad Batch could find him. As Clone Force 99 ventures across the galaxy, they could easily meet a pre-Imperial Thrawn, which would provide audiences with a fresh take on the imposing villain.
Jedi may have been rare following the Clone Wars, but Ahsoka Tano and Obi-Wan Kenobi weren’t the only ones still roaming the galaxy. There’s also Kanan Jarrus (originally known as young padawan Caleb Dume), who escaped Order 66. Most know Kanan as a major character on Rebels, where we know him as a member of the Ghost crew -- a ragtag team of rebels.
Comics have filled in the blanks on some of Kanan’s history, but it would be nice to get further details on his exploits in the immediate aftermath of the Clone Wars. With this, The Bad Batch could give us a younger Kanan, who’s trying to lay low amid the Empire’s rule. And because young Kanan did work as a smuggler, there’s a firm chance the titular clone troopers could meet him at some point.
If you’ve watched any animated Star Wars series over the past decade (or even ridden a theme park attraction), then you undoubtedly know who Hondo Ohnaka is. The pirate, outlaw and smuggler became a major fixture on The Clone Wars before making his way to Rebels. Now, The Bad Batch could potentially serve as another prime place for him to show his face again.
When audiences first meet Hondo, he was the leader of the Ohnaka Gang, though the group of pirates eventually broke up some time after the rise of the Empire. The Bad Batch could potentially provide viewers with a better idea of how Hondo’s pirate gang split up and also show the character’s earliest schemes in the post-Clone Wars world. With the way Hondo gets around, it wouldn’t be hard for him to meet Clone Force 99 at all, and any encounter between him and the group is bound to be hilarious.
Grogu (Baby Yoda)
It’s safe to say that just about everyone knows the impossibly adorable Grogu (a.k.a. Baby Yoda) at this point. The diminutive, green alien made his surprising debut in the first season of The Mandalorian, and the rest is history. So far, Grogu has only appeared on the live-action Disney+ show and, after Season 2, it would appear that his time on the series is finished. However, Dave Filoni could indeed bring back his phenomenon-launching creation in The Bad Batch.
Audiences have only seen Grogu in a post-Return of the Jedi galaxy, but we learned in the second season of The Mandalorian that he was once a Jedi youngling at the Jedi Temple on Coruscant. He was later rescued from the Great Jedi Purge, before being hidden for his safety. Where he was hidden immediately after that is anyone’s guess, but The Bad Batch could answer that question. It would be great to see the clones meet the powerful infant, and one can only imagine how they’d react to him.
Even though Boba Fett has always been one of Star Wars most iconic characters, the famed bounty hunter has recently come back in a big way. He just made his triumphant return in Season 2 of The Mandalorian and is now getting his own spinoff series. Yet years earlier, a younger, less experienced Boba appeared on Star Wars: The Clone Wars. And this is exactly the Fett we can see again on The Bad Batch.
Boba Fett’s rise through the ranks was covered on Clone Wars, where he was the leader of a team of bounty hunters before he was usurped. With The Bad Batch picking up after that show, it could show a slightly older Boba show up and cross paths with Clone Force 99. The meeting would be intense, to say the least, but having Fett (Jango’s original clone) meet up with fellow clones could certainly be interesting.
Each and every one of these characters would make great additions to the upcoming show and, hopefully, we’ll get to see some of them pop up during its run. Star Wars: The Bad Batch premieres on Disney+ on May 4th.